ERIC Number: ED383011
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb-26
Reference Count: N/A
Public Flames and Private Fantasies: When Is Computer-Mediated Communication Private?
Noting that corporations and academic institutions are struggling with issues of balance between system security and freedom of speech, this paper reviews current literature concerning privacy in computer-mediated communication (CMC) from the perspectives of both the individual user and the system administration. Focusing on the communicative rather than the technical aspects of CMC, the paper considers personal rights to privacy and freedom of expression, weighed against system administrator liabilities and responsibilities to users. The paper notes that system administrators and owners of academic systems join private and corporate sectors in walking an ethical and legal tightrope and notes that researchers, apart from legal considerations, are wrestling with the ethics and moral responsibilities of sampling text from public bulletin boards and mailing lists. The paper suggests that users engage in risky communication in spite of system limitations for security and privacy. The paper concludes that CMC is evolving minute-by-minute, offering communication scholars new opportunities for research with every new development. (Contains 54 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Behavior
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (65th, San Jose, CA, February 23-27, 1994).